Fixtures - Top Bar

Thompstone: Tigers’ defence crucial to semi-final charge

Leicester Tigers winger Adam Thompstone believes his side’s defensive improvements are a vital part of their quest to secure an Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final berth for the 13th season in a row.

Thompstone hailed Tigers’ efforts without the ball in their 30-3 victory over Newcastle Falcons at Welford Road on Saturday as his team tightened their grip on the fourth remaining semi-final spot ahead of their clash with Sale Sharks on April 29.

And Thompstone believes Leicester’s defensive tactics, which worked so effectively against Falcons could be used in their battle with Sharks because of their similarly destructive outside backs.

Tigers could confirm their place in the Aviva Premiership semi-finals with a victory over Sale and other results going their way, but Thompstone insists his side’s sole focus is on their showdown with Sharks.

“I think they are a dangerous side and they have some dangerous players – we won’t be taking anything for granted,” said Thompstone.

“We know it is going to be a tough game and one we need to win.

“The semi-final spot is obviously the goal but we are only focusing on Sale. There is no point looking too far forward to the semi-final or final.

“There have been a lot of teams with dangerous back-threes. We managed to keep Newcastle’s back three quiet, which was the plan going into the game, so hopefully we can do the same going up against Sale in a few weeks.

“We have a defensive structure and we will not be going away from that. We will obviously make a few tweaks where we think they are needed.”

Leicester will have been boosted by Bath Rugby’s 25-19 defeat to Worcester Warriors at the weekend, which leaves Tigers four points clear of the West Country outfit in fourth place.

And Thompstone knows his side must continue improving in their last two league encounters, especially given that they lost to Sale in Round Five of the Aviva Premiership.

“It was a good result for us with Bath losing but we have two games left, which we need to win,” said Thompstone.

“Those two games are our focus at the moment and we cannot slip up against either of them.

“We have two weeks to prepare for Sale. They are playing well, so it will certainly be a tough game.

“It was a tough game against Newcastle and a good result for us in the end. Defensively, were strong. We didn’t concede a try, which was very positive for us.

“We managed to get the win and get the bonus-point try, which is what we needed.”

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 27 May at Twickenham are now on sale. If you want to have an unforgettable day out at club rugby’s best Cup Final then click here for tickets.

Latest News

Match Report: Bath Rugby 44 Gloucester Rugby 20

Toby Faletau scored a hat-trick as Bath Rugby kept their hopes of reaching the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals alive with…

Matches on BT Sport confirmed for next Saturday 

Premiership Rugby can confirm the two Aviva Premiership Rugby matches that will be shown live on BT Sport next Saturday,…

Match Reaction: Saracens 27 Bristol Rugby 9

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall admitted his team’s performance in their 27-9 victory over Bristol Rugby fell well short…

Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 41 Sale Sharks 18

Leicester Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor paid tribute to Freddie Burns after the fly-half inspired his side to a 41-18…

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 36 Northampton Saints 12

Ali Hepher believes Exeter Chiefs have finally played at their best after a fine victory over Northampton Saints moved them…

AUDIO: Post match Aviva Premiership reaction to Saracens 27 Bristol 9

Russell Hargreaves looks back on events at Allianz Park, before speaking to retiring Sarries legends Neil de Kock and Kelly…

Match Report: Leicester Tigers 41 Sale Sharks 18

Freddie Burns gave a starring performance in his final home appearance for Leicester Tigers to put them on brink of qualification…

Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 36 Northampton Saints 12

Exeter Chiefs became the first Aviva Premiership Rugby side to secure seven straight bonus-point wins with their biggest ever victory…

Match Report: Saracens 27 Bristol Rugby 9

Saracens overcame a slow first half to sign off their departing club legends in style with a bonus-point Aviva Premiership…

Late change to Northampton Saints squad

Tom Wood is a late withdrawal from today's Northampton Saints team that is playing Exeter Chiefs. Christian Day comes into…

Christian Day

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 16 Worcester Warriors 14

Worcester Warriors director of rugby Gary Gold was left stunned and disappointed after Newcastle Falcons scrum-half Sonatane Takulua struck late…

Match Reaction: Harlequins 32 Wasps 13

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans signed off from the Stoop with a majestic performance as he kicked 22 points against Wasps…